Home ownership advocates and Realtors pushed hard last year to extend the federal Home Buyers Tax Credit -the $8,000 first time buyer and $6,500 move-up buyer credits now run through April 30, 2010 - but resistance from sellers to put their properties on the market early in the year is wasting valuable time, which buyers and sellers need, to take advantage of the tax deduction.
With mortgage lending guidelines still very tight, the majority of real estate transactions are taking longer than the once-typical 30 days to close. To be safe, buyers should to be locked in to a sales contract by early February. This would allow a comfortable 60 days to tackle any financing hurdles and close before the April 30 deadline.
How do sellers benefit from the Home Buyers Tax Credit? One word: demand. Most of my buyers last summer would not have been shopping for a home without the incentive of the tax credit. Once the tax credit is no longer available, many buyers will pull out of the market. Putting your home on the market now ensures that you are taking advantage of an optimum buyer pool. There is no guarantee that the tax credit will be extended again, or for how long.
So don’t delay if you are selling your home –buyers are out there now; they are just waiting for the a positive flux in available properties.